Australia Implements Facial Recognition App To Make Sure Citizens Are Staying Home

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In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • South Australia has begun a trial of a stay at home app that monitors whether people are following quarantine orders.

    • Users have 15 minutes to prove their location and use facial recognition technology to show the government they are at home.

    • Local police is notified if check-ins are missed.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we seeing a constant increase of draconian measures to stop COVID, yet treatment options still highly controversial and not focused on?

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The Australian government has begun testing a new stay at home quarantine app that uses facial recognition and geolocation to make sure citizens are staying home in accordance with South Australia’s COVID-19 quarantine orders.

In late August, a group of South Australians were ordered to download to their phone an app titled Home Quarantine SA, available in app stores. The trial group were people returning from New South Wales and Victoria, with plans in place to extend the trial to international travellers in the coming weeks.

The app, developed by GenVis, monitors whether citizens comply with stay at home quarantine orders by contacting them at complete random, and asking them to provide their proof of location within just 15 minutes of being notified.

As users download the app, they are asked to input an image of their face, their home address, and have location services turned on so the check ins can perform properly.

Now imagine this, your phone goes off, it’s a notification from the government via the app: “prove you are at home.” You then have 15 minutes to let your camera recognize your face while you are in your home (tracked via location services) or else the local police will be called for manual check in. People breaking quarantine rules can face a fine of up to $1,000.

The Australian government is using this technology, in their words, as a means to reduce costs associated with travel quarantine policies and quarantine hotels.

One statement gaining attention with regards to this story comes from Australian Premier Steven Marshall had this to say about the pilot of this project,

“I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.”

Australian Premier Steven Marshall

The reason this statement is gaining attention is obviously due to its draconian nature and that we’re seeing yet another politician calling for people to simply embrace it as opposed to question it. Politicians have been telling people how they should feel during COVID, instead of asking them how they feel and responding accordingly.

How to deal with COVID as a society generally breaks down into two approaches, one put forth in the John Snow Memorandum and the other in the Great Barrington Declaration. The John Snow Memorandum supports strict measures to limit human contacts and movements, resulting in mask mandates, lockdowns and putting millions of people out of work. The Great Barrington Declaration on the other hand advocates for what’s called “focused protection,” urging younger and healthier individuals to continue life as is, while suggesting protective measures to those most vulnerable to the virus – the elderly, immunocompromised and so forth.

So far, it’s really only Sweden who have embraced this approach, and with great success. Governments, media, and Big Tech have colluded to cast doubt on the Great Barrington approach. They have gone so far as to censor many doctors and scientists who align with the approach.

For now, the app is voluntary except for those traveling from certain “high risk jurisdictions.” However, statewide implementation might be coming according to Steven Marshall.

“I’m pretty sure the technology that we have developed within the South Australia Government will become the national standard and will be rolled out across the country,”

Steven Marshall

The app also has the capacity to store COVID-19 vaccine cards digitally.

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